Given the recent loss of benefits on the Citi Prestige card (i.e. Admirals Club access, free golf, 4th night free no matter the cost, etc.), I thought I’d give them a call to see if I could get a retention offer out of them before they release any new benefits as they are rumored to do later this month (HT: DoC). Calling now would give me more leverage if needed. To give you an idea of where I’m at, I signed up for the card last July and have put about $18k in spend on it (most of that was MS).

I don’t value the Citi Prestige ThankYou Points as much as SPG or Chase points, so it’s not an everyday card for me. Leading up to this call, I put about $1,000 on the card in the last few weeks. When I called and said I was thinking of canceling, I was transferred to a retention specialist who gave me 5 minutes about how the “core” benefits are unchanged, but I pointed out how much I appreciated each of the benefits being lost and we moved on.

These were my offers:

1. $50 Statement credit for the next 7 months if I spend $1500 each cycle

The first offer presented to me was worth about $350 after spending a total $10,500 on the card over the next 7 months. After factoring in the cost of MS, which is ~$115 for that amount, I’d still come about ahead after the airline credit, but that’s a lot of work. Not to mention the opportunity cost of losing out on Chase or SPG points with that MS.

Verdict: This could be a great offer for some, depending on how much you value TYP, but it wasn’t for me.

2. $200 Credit for spending $4000 a month for the next 3 months

Again, this equates to $12,000 in spend over 3 months for less money than was offered with option 1. This would cost me ~$130 to MS that amount, and made less sense.

Verdict: Hard pass. Less money for more spend? No thanks.

3. 10,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4000 on the card

After passing on the first two offers, the representative asked If I’d be interested in ThankYou Points over a statement credit. I said I was open to it, so she proceeded with an offer of 10,000 TYP after 4,000 in spend. Factoring in the ~$45 for MS fees, I’d still being coming out behind.

Verdict: Not for me. Shouldn’t be for anybody.

4. 1 Additional ThankYou Point on Travel for the next 6 months up to 10,000 points

Again, with the 10,000 point offers. Even if you value TYPs at $0.02 a piece, that still only comes out to $200, but I have to spend $10,000 on travel to get it.

Verdict: Very hard pass.

5. 1 Additional ThankYou Point on all purchases for the next six months up to 50,000 points

Their last offer was by far the most enticing. This would essentially turn my Prestige into a 2x everywhere machine for the next 6 months. Unfortunately, I’m not a high roller and I don’t really have that much time for MS. If you could spend that much in a 6 month period, this could be a very lucrative offer for you.

Verdict: Wish I could, but $50k is a lot of money.

Final Thoughts

I decided to think on it and see if Citi does in-fact come out with some of these rumored benefits. I won’t close the card, just convert it to a no-fee to avoid the 24 month rule. I was really surprised I got 5 offers with such a small amount of spend over the last year. No doubt, the Prestige is a great card and works well for a lot of people. A friend of mine uses it to pay for his corporate travel (per his company’s policy), gets the fourth night reimbursed and pockets $400 a month. In that case, it absolutely makes sense to pay the $450 fee, but my travel needs don’t really align to these benefits at the moment. Maybe I’ll just upgrade my Sapphire to a Reserve and call it a day.

Have you called Citi for a retention offer lately? What offers did you get?


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